Thursday, July 16, 2009

The day before yesterday in the Lords - the steady drip, drip, drip of concession

I had intended to post this yesterday but, having read Hansard, I rather lost the will to live. Indeed, Tuesday was one of those days when much is said, but little is apparently achieved.

That said, the first day of the Committee Stage of the Parliamentary Standards Bill demonstrated that this is an astonishingly poorly drafted piece of legislation, with much of the debate intended to probe into the actual meaning of the language used, and the Government conceding that much redrafting will be needed. Baroness Hamwee and Lord Shutt of Greetland prodded and poked the Government, the Earl of Onslow, from the Conservative benches, went for ridicule, sugesting that parts of the debate reminded him of "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue". Indeed, he suggested that the Woolsack be rechristened as Mornington Crescent.

The ever sartorial-elegant Earl had already made a plea on behalf of the House of Commons that Peers stand up for the rights of their colleagues in another place, noting how low morale had fallen there.

Debate resumes today, so we'll see how the Government manages an ever more complex redrafting task...

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